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Novelist, Park Wan-Suh

Posted May. 17, 2001 09:36,   


Novelist Park Wan-Suh (70) will receive `Great Sookmyung People` award at the Sookmyung Women`s Highschool (Kangnam Ku, Seoul) at 10 a.m. on May 22. Sookmyung Women`s Highschool has awarded `Proud Sookmyung People` to its graduates who have made contributions to the school and the society. Among `Proud Sookmyung People` award recipients, one person is selected as `Great Sookmyung People.` At its 95th anniversary of the opening of the school, Sookmyung has selected 10 graduates, including textile artist Suh Soon-Yeon (84).

Park feels special as she receives the award in front of young students 51 years after her own graduation. Park recalls that six years of school life, which began in 1944, was the happiest time in her life. During the six years, Park walked to school every morning for one hour.

``I was happy because I could learn from excellent teachers in good educational environment. Especially, novelist Park No-Gap, who was in charge of course in literature at that time, gave us rigorous writing education. That experience has greatly influenced me even until now,`` says Park.

Because Park had to give up college due to the Korean War (6. 25), education at Sookmyung was all Park had for her writing. Fellowship with novelist Han Mal-Sook, who was Park`s classmate, and poet Park Myung-Sung was a big support for Park. Park recalls that she was motivated by her fellowship with Han and Park to make her literary debut after she had turned 40.

When she was asked about her school year memories, she murmured. ``I don’t have a special memory. Once, I went out to see a movie by cutting a self-study class. That was all. I was a good student. I even received an award when I graduated.``

She may want to bury her memories of school years. Her autobiographical novel `Mom`s Rod` says nothing about her memory during that time either. Park returned her smile as an answer.

Yun Jeong-Hoon digana@donga.com